29 Sep 2018

New Louisiana Medical Marijuana Laws Create Booming Potential Market for Doctors

The 2016 legalization of medical marijuana in Louisiana set the ground for a booming new market for medical marijuana doctors in the state. In addition to seeking the physician’s authorization required to use medical marijuana in Louisiana, many Louisiana patients new to medical marijuana may need guidance in its safe and proper use. Moreover, the law requires all medical marijuana patients, both those new to marijuana and familiar with it alike, be monitored throughout their treatment by the doctor providing the authorization. This places medical marijuana doctors in high demand in Louisiana, both for medical marijuana authorizations and to monitor those authorized treatments.

Expected to add even further to this demand, state regulators have more recently loosened limits on the number of medical cannabis patients a single doctor can authorize. In an eight to one vote in September 2018, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners removed a 2016 cap limited doctors to treating just 100 patients with medical cannabis. Lifting this restriction benefits patients by removing bottlenecks in vital health care services, and it benefits doctors by preventing them from having to refuse needed care to a patient.

The combination of the new medical marijuana law in Louisiana and the lifting of regulations restricting the number of patients per doctor means that doctors can find themselves inundated with demand for medical marijuana authorizations. To help manage this demand, software like DrGreenSoft was created to specifically manage the unique demands on medical marijuana doctors. With DrGreenSoft, physicians have immediate access to all the forms, regulations and information required to treat patients with medical marijuana while complying fully with state law. DrGreenSoft is fully HIPAA compliant and secure with automated cloud backups. The software is a complete suite of EMR, POS and medical marijuana patient verification systems. It includes a telemedicine suite for staying in contact with patients, featuring a secure Internet portal with online pre-qualification services and a smart calendar. The software even comes with full marketing and CRM features for helping to keep up with referrals and distribute promotions. Another new regulation passed by the state Medical Examiners Board also helps reduce doctors’ loads a bit, as well as an unnecessary burden on patients, by eliminating the requirement patients see their medical marijuana physician every 90 days to renew authorization.

Despite passage of the original medical marijuana law in Louisiana in 2016, implementation has yet to occur, with patient access to medical cannabis in the state expected to begin within 3 to 6 months of the September passage of these new regulations. This means there is still plenty of time for Louisiana doctors to enter this new market at its outset. So far, only 48 physicians have applied to authorize medical cannabis treatment in Louisiana at that time. This means the need is still high for doctors to enter the Louisiana medical marijuana market. Whether considering expanding or transitioning into this new booming market, the features and services DrGreenSoft provides can eliminate confusion and overwhelm and help make the process go smoothly and efficiently.

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04 Sep 2018

Illinois Doctors Can Now Prescribe Medical Cannabis for Pain

Pain is the latest ailment for which the state of Illinois now allows patients to legally use medical cannabis. Barring the availability in legal, accessible, safe and affordable medical cannabis, patients with severe and chronic pain are often left to resort to taking opioids to provide relief. Even with a doctor’s prescription, opioid use can become highly addictive and dangerous, even deadly. Considering approximately 11,000 people died in the state since 2008 due to opioid overdoses and opioids are responsible for almost twice the deaths in 2016 in the state as traffic accidents, the prospect of much safer medical cannabis to provide adequate pain relief and stem the tide of opioid use, addiction and overdose appears a welcome one in Illinois.

Announced in late August of 2018, Illinois state Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law the option for doctors to prescribe medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids for treating severe or chronic pain. The law was made effective immediately thereafter. The sponsor of the bill Rauner signed into law was State Representative Kelly Cassidy, a Democrat representing Chicago. Cassidy touted the bill, SB 336, as a possibility for patients whose only other option would be addictive opioids, whether they wanted to take them or not. A pilot program has been initiated as part of the new law to institute safeguards against medical marijuana abuse and abuse of the state’s medical marijuana program. Upon the institution of this law, prescribing, purchasing, possessing and using medical cannabis in Illinois for pain is subject to the same laws as using medical cannabis for any other condition as per the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.

An invaluable tool medical marijuana doctors are finding indispensable for optimizing their practice is DrGreenSoft, a combination of electronic medical records software and point of sale software in one. More than ordinary EMR and POS software, DrGreenSoft is custom tailored to the medical cannabis field and the needs of medical cannabis doctors.
This includes all the necessary state MMJ forms. DrGreenSoft is free for low volume practices serving fewer than 30 patients per months. For practices larger than 30 monthly patients, only a small fee is charged.

As the most recent addition to the growing list of debilitating conditions for which doctors are authorized to prescribe medical marijuana to patients in Illinois, pain joins conditions including:

  • Alzheimer’s disease agitations
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Lupus
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

The list includes over 30 conditions at the time of pain’s addition. The action practically ensures that an already booming new industry in the state is only bound to further grow. This augers an imminent growing need for medical marijuana doctors practicing in the state to help qualifying patients legally access medical cannabis, for pain or any other qualifying condition. Software like DrGreenSoft helps those doctors to easily and comfortably expand their practices to serve this growing need.

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